Glenorchy saddles up early for race day

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Thrilling horse racing is the way Glenorchy folk saddle up for the New Year.

“It’s bloody exciting,” rider Callan Grimmer says.

Grimmer has been competing at the now iconic Glenorchy Races for more than a decade.

“It’s a very tight track, tight corners, and that adds to the thrill of it – a lot different from a big race track.”

Dart River Jet operations manager Grimmer rides Mt Nicholas Station-bred horse Sam in the Local Gallop, Relay Race and Double Banking Race.

“It’s pretty competitive out there – a friendly rivalry I’d call it.

“Over the years I’ve been pretty successful in the locals, won it about four or five times.

“But these years the jockeys are getting younger and lighter so I’m not doing so well.”

Held on the first Saturday after New Year, the event is now in its 52nd year. Organisers expect up to 60 horses and riders this year, watched by up to 5000 spectators.

Races range from the Walk Trot Gallop and entertaining Double Banking Race to the Quarter Mile Sprint and the competitive Stockman’s Race.

Anyone with a horse can register but the races are not for the faint-hearted or inexperienced – many local horse trekking staff and stockmen and women enter each year.

“It’s one of the most enjoyed days in Glenorchy of the year, without a doubt,” Grimmer says.

“There’s more than 4000 people turn out, great family atmosphere, a great day out.”